Emergency Management


Severe Weather and Storms

On the Australian continent severe weather can range from isolated thunderstorms to intense low pressure systems affecting thousands of square kilometres. Large scale deep low pressure systems cause widespread flash flooding and gale to storm force winds extending over 400 to 1,000 square kilometres.

A severe thunderstorm is defined by the Bureau of Meteorology as one which produces:

  • hail, diameter of 2cm or more ($2 coin size)
  • wind gusts of 90 km/h or greater
  • flash floods
  • tornadoes, or any combination of these.

The State Emergency Service would be happy to give you more detailed information about flooding and prevention.

For more information, visit www.ses.sa.gov.au


Floods occur when water covers land which is normally dry. They may result from prolonged or very heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms, monsoonal (wet season) rains in the tropics, or tropical cyclones. Other, less common causes include dam failure, or storm surge and tsunami - both involving rapid seawater flooding.

People who live near rivers, or in low-lying coastal areas, live with the greatest threat of floods. Periods of heavy rain, not necessarily in their area, can lead to rises in the water level of streams and rivers to a point where channels can no longer hold the volume of water. Alternatively, for some coastal dwellers, there is the threat from the sea.

The Patawalonga Lake System as well as numerous creeks systems, such as Brown Hill Creek, Keswick Creek, Parkland Creek, Minno Creek and Sturt Creek are all well known to be affected by rising waters and flooding.

The State Emergency Service would be happy to give you more detailed information about flooding and prevention.

For more information, visit www.ses.sa.gov.au


Bushfires are an intrinsic part of Australia's environment. Natural ecosystems have evolved with fire, and the landscape, along with its biological diversity, has been shaped by both historic and recent fires. Many of Australia's native plants are fire prone and very combustible while numerous species depend on fire to regenerate.

Wide firebreaks along property boundaries must be maintained and fuel reduction (controlled) burning is carried out during the cooler seasons. The risk of a bushfire occurring can be reduced if people take a little more care and use common sense when dealing with fire or materials that can ignite easily. A carelessly thrown cigarette butt, or a campfire not properly extinguished, are just two common causes of fires.

The Country Fire Service would be happy to give you more detailed information about fire safety and prevention.

For more information, visit www.cfs.sa.gov.au


An earthquake is the shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth caused by underground movement along a fault plane or by volcanic activity. Any part of Australia could experience an earthquake. There is no accepted method to predict earthquakes, however, some regions are more earthquake-prone than others.

Parts of South Australia including Adelaide and the mid-north are earthquake hazard areas with a high potential for future earthquakes. Eden-Burnside Fault Zone (composed of several different individual faults) lies at the base of the main scarp of the Adelaide Hills. It begins around One Tree Hill in the northern suburbs and extends as an escarpment of approximately 200 metres high in a slightly curving line for about 30 kilometres before encountering the sea at Marino. This escarpment is known as the 'Hills Face Zone'.

Earthquakes are a natural hazard which cannot be prevented but the effect that an earthquake has on your family can be reduced if you have a plan.

The State Emergency Service or Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (DTEI) would be happy to give you more detailed information about Earthquakes.

For more information, visit http://www.ses.sa.gov.au/ or http://www.dtei.sa.gov.au/

Other useful Links


Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au


Geoscience Australia www.ga.gov.au

Emergency Management

Emergency Management Australia http://www.ema.gov.au/  

Hazard Information

Natural Resource Management Board www.nrm.sa.gov.au

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Home



Emergency:    000
Attendance:   131 444
Crimestoppers:   1800 333 000


Emergency:   000
Bushfire Hotline:   1300 362 361


Emergency:   000


Emergency:   132 500

(4pm - 9am and 24 hours on weekends and public holidays)

Emergency:   131 611


Information:   1300 659 215


Information:   13 11 26


Reporting/Information   1800 123 400

Who is responsible for Emergencies in SA?

Hazard Leader

An organisation with legislated responsibility to undertake planning and development of mitigation/prevention strategies for an identified hazard/event.

(Responsibility to PREVENT and PREPARE for emergencies relating to a particular hazard)

Control Agency

An organisation with legislated responsible to develop response strategies to manage/deal with the effects of an identified hazard/event.

(Responsibility to CONTROL the RESPONSE to a particular emergency)


Hazard Leader:   Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR)
Control Agency:   State Emergency Service (SES)



Hazard Leader:   State Emergency Service (SES)
Control Agency:   State Emergency Service (SES)



Hazard Leader:   SA Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS)
Control Agency:   SA Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS)



Hazard Leader:   SA Country Fire Service (SACFS)
Control Agency:   SA Country Fire Service (SACFS)



Hazard Leader:   Primary Industries & Resources of SA (PIRSA)
Control Agency:   Primary Industries & Resources of SA (PIRSA)


Hazard Leader:   Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (DTEI)
Control Agency:   SA Police (SAPOL)



Hazard Leader:   SA Police (SAPOL)
Control Agency:   SA Police (SAPOL)



Hazard Leader:   SafeWork SA / Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Control Agency:   SA Country Fire Service (SACFS) or SA Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS)



Hazard Leader:   Department of Health (DoH)
Control Agency:   Department of Health (DoH)

State Act of Parliament

All State emergencies are governed under the Emergency Management Act 2004 which provides the authority for the State Emergency Plan.

A copy of the Act can be found from the South Australian Legislation web site State Emergency Management Act (SA)

State Emergency Plan

The State Government has developed a State Emergency Plan. This details the responsibilities and strategies of State Government to manage significant state emergencies.

Regional Council Approach

The Cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Unley have developed a Regional Framework that is designed to provide support to current Council systems in place to manage emergencies as well as provide scope for future, ongoing planning and development of improved strategies to prevent, prepare to respond to or recover from emergencies within the community.

SCEMPlan is a Regional based Emergency Management framework that has been developed following consultation with internal and external stakeholders and in conjunction with Emergency Service Organisations. SCEMPlan is a 'live' document, with continuous and ongoing review being required to ensure that it continues to reflect best practice and supports current local arrangements

Emergency Management Project Work

The four partner Councils; Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Unley have undertaken Emergency Management Project work for the past two years, with the assistance of federal funding from the Local Grants Scheme of the Working Together to Manage Emergencies.

The Stage one Project focussed on undertaking an Emergency Risk Assessment across the Region, with a large emphasis placed upon Community opinion.

The Stage two Project has seen a significant increase in the awareness of Emergency Management and its Planning across the Australian Government LGS LogoRegion.

Stage two has also seen the development of:

  • Regional Emergency Management arrangements
  • Emergency Management Training programme for employees
  • Creation of online Emergency Management information portal

A final outcome of the Stage two Regional Emergency Management Project is the Sturt Community Local Government Emergency Management Planning Forum. This group is tasked with the ongoing planning of Emergency Management arrangements across the Region and to maintain the essential link between the partner Councils.

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City of Mitcham -ABN 92 180 069 793
131 Belair Road, Torrens Park SA 5062
T: +61 8 8372 8888 | F: +61 8 83728101
E: mitcham@mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au
Last date modified: 2014-07-24T21:50:22
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